Petr Filippovich Iakubovich

The following article is from The Great Soviet Encyclopedia (1979). It might be outdated or ideologically biased.

Iakubovich, Petr Filippovich


(pseudonyms include M. Ramshev, L. Mel’shin, P. Ia. Grinevich, and P. F. Grine-vich). Born Oct. 22 (Nov. 3), 1860, in the village of Isaevo, Valdai District, Novgorod Province; died Mar. 17 (30), 1911, in St. Petersburg. Revolutionary, member of the People’s Will (Narodnaia Volia), poet, and writer.

Iakubovich was the son of a nobleman. In 1882 he graduated from the faculty of history and philology of the University of St. Petersburg, where he had taken part in the student movement. Iakubovich began contributing to the democratic journals Delo, Slovo, and Otechestvennye zapiski in 1878. In 1882 he joined the St. Petersburg organization of the People’s Will, and in 1883, after the arrest of V. N. Figner, he became one of the leaders of the People’s Will movement. In January 1884 he helped organize the Youth Party of the People’s Will; after its merger with the “old” People’s Will, he was of great help to G. A. Lopatin in restoring the party. In the summer of 1884, Iakubovich established an illegal printing press in Dorpat (Tartu), and he helped prepare and print the tenth issue of the newspaper Narodnaia volia.

Iakubovich was arrested in St. Petersburg on Nov. 15, 1884, and was sentenced to death in the Trial of the 21 in 1887; the sentence was commuted to 18 years’ hard labor. He served part of the sentence at the Kara Penal Colony and the Akatui Prison. In 1895 he became a penal settler in Kurgan.

Iakubovich’s poems first appeared in print in 1878. His collection Matvei Ramshev’s Poems (1887) was published when he was sentenced to hard labor. Iakubovich published many striking poems before and during the Revolution of 1905–07. A poet of revolutionary narodnichestvo (Populism), he portrays in his poems a warrior prepared for heroic deeds and sacrifice in the interests of the people. His poetry developed in the style of Russian civic lyrics and assimilated the traditions of N. A. Nekrasov. Between 1895 and 1898, under the pen name of L. Mel’shin, Iakubovich published in the journal Russkoe bogatstvo a series of autobiographical essays dealing with the Akatui Prison. The series, which was called In the World of Outcasts, was highly successful and elicited a broad social response.

Iakubovich returned to European Russia in 1899 and became the editor of the poetry department of Russkoe bogatstvo. In 1904, Iakubovich became the coeditor of the fiction department (together with V. G. Korolenko).


Stikhotvoreniia, vols. 1–2. St. Petersburg, 1898–1901.
Shlissel’burgskie mucheniki. St. Petersburg, 1906.
N. A. Nekrasov: Ego zhizn’ i literaturnaia deiatel’nost’. St. Petersburg, 1907.
Ocherki russkoi poezii, 2nd ed. St. Petersburg, 1911.
Pasynki zhizni: Rasskazy, 4th ed. Moscow, 1918.
Vmire otverzhennykh, vols. 1–2. Moscow-Leningrad, 1964.
Stikhotvoreniia, Leningrad, 1960.


Dvinianinov, B. N. Mech i lira. Moscow, 1969.
Saikin, O. A. “Iz istorii Molodoi partii Narodnoi voli.” Istoriia SSSR, 1971, no. 6.
Narodnichestvo v rabotakh sovetskikh issledovatelei za 1953–1970: Ukazatel’ literatury. Compiled by N. Ia. Kraineva and P. V. Pronina. Moscow, 1971.


The Great Soviet Encyclopedia, 3rd Edition (1970-1979). © 2010 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.